Frequently asked questions

Yes – your child can apply for as many options as they feel suited. We recommend that they keep their options open to ensure they can chose the right path for them on receiving their GCSE grades.

Yes – SEC offer a wide range of courses at different levels allowing for your child to access a suitable course dependant on their ability level and GCSE grades.

Yes – Your child is able to move to an alternative course, as long as there are still spaces available on the alternative course.

Their tutor and the Careers Team will be able to provide support and guidance if they chose to change course. SEC host a Swap Don’t Drop Fair that also assists students in exploring alternative courses.

No - Courses are fully funded provided your child is aged 18 or under as of 31 August. You may need to pay for course-related kit and uniforms, although your child can make a bursary application to see if they are entitled to any financial support towards these costs.

Yes - We welcome students who have disabilities or learning difficulties. A supportive and inclusive environment is provided, where your child is treated on the basis of their merits, ability and potential.

Whether you need help with completing the application, with your child’s course or with examinations, our experienced staff provide support for a variety of disabilities including hearing impairments, specific learning difficulties, physical difficulties and visual impairments.

Additional Learning Support »

Yes - The college has made employment its top priority and will make every effort to ensure that your child is armed with the core skills and qualifications they require to pursue their career options.

No - University entry requirements are based on UCAS points. The majority of South Essex College’s vocational courses offer UCAS points, just like A-Levels.

In fact, one Level 3 vocational course (for example a BTEC) is the equivalent to studying three A-Levels. A triple distinction in a vocational course carries almost identical UCAS points as three A grade A-Levels.

Vocational courses allow you to specialise in your chosen area of study meaning you will have a stronger understanding of the subject before starting your degree. A-Levels can be ideal if you’re not sure what you want to do and want to keep your options open. Or if they are a requirement to support your progression options.

Yes - The college day is very different to school. Days are slightly longer to better represent a day in the workplace, which helps your child prepare themselves for the world of work.

They may not attend college every day of the week, but will still study in line with the required guided learning hours. The days they are not in college are ideal opportunities for independent study as well as securing work experience to support their studies or a part time job. Most courses have work experience requirements built in to the qualifications.

Yes - Safety is our number one priority.

Dedicated student support teams are also available to assist those in need. Each campus has a College Guardian whose job it is to monitor student behaviour and challenge those who do not meet our expected standards. Campuses have barrier entry systems to ensure only those who should be on site are able to enter.

All students, staff and visitors are required to wear the appropriate lanyard, so they can be identified to the role they play within the college.

Safeguarding »

Yes - Courses at the college are delivered by industry experts in their field combining theory with practical study. A lot of tutors have previously worked in their industry, and some still do, so they are able to bring first-hand experience to the course. Tutors also work closely with local businesses which is great for work experience.

No - The interview process is informal and designed to give us the opportunity to find out about your child’s interests and abilities to ensure they are going on the right course. We offer a wide range of courses so there is something for everyone.

Interview information »

Yes - It’s not unusual for young people to be undecided what they want to do. That’s why we hold a number of open events so you can come in and speak to our tutors about the different courses available.

We also have a dedicated team of course advisers on hand to go through your options. Before starting a course they will sit an informal interview to make sure the course is right for them and they have the required grades to access their chosen course. If they change their mind at any point, admissions can assist them with changing their course choice.

Services and support »

Yes – The College has a dedicated Careers Team, who can provide impartial advice and guidance to assist your child with the progression options suitable to them. Your child’s personal tutor can also offer support with exploring their progression options.

Careers advice »

It’s never too late to learn, so if you are a parent considering returning to study, South Essex College offer a variety of adult courses and has excellent support services in place to assist you in choosing a course.

Adults »